Everyone is Fighting a Hard Battle

I’m a planner.

It’s not only my vocation; it is how I work my life. It’s how I juggle all the balls, how I keep the ducks in a row, how I keep myself afloat (and sometimes others, as well.)

It’s been a source of much teasing over the years, and often extra work piled on me – since I’m considered the "planner" in most situations. I like to know what is happening, when, and how. I like to be prepared for whatever may come and to be at the ready to help those who aren’t…as prepared.

It’s not that I don’t like to be spontaneous. I actually crave spontaneity and a less controlled life. It’s just not an easy place for me to get to…or stay. I learned a lot in the last few years about the benefit of not being controlled by the overriding culture of busyness; of rest and simply being present in whatever situation I was in or with whatever I was dealing with. And knowing, through it, I’d be ok. Yet the pull of planning and scheduling (and overscheduling, if I’m honest) and just doing, is strong.

Interestingly, I’m learning that this isn’t just how I was made, as I’d always thought. It’s a protective mechanism, one likely long ingrained into my being. It’s a way of establishing a measure of control in a chaotic world, of maintaining an uneasy equilibrium in a tilt-a-whirl life. More than that, it’s a way to appease and abate the ripples of anxiety I’ve only recently come to acknowledge as a part of my life…before they push past the walls and bubble up.

Who knew? Yet it makes perfect sense. In creating order, in planning, in preparation, I can allay my fears. I can counteract the what ifs. I can calm the waves and keep my head above water. And I can protect myself from the unknown.

But is that the best way to really live life? As with everything, it’s likely about balance…and change…and growth…and sometimes dipping your toe in the water, just to see.

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Do Over

Remember when you were a kid playing kickball and you’d miss the ball? Immediately, before you even had a second thought, you’d holler, “DO OVER!” so as not to lose out on your turn…or simply lose. For the most part, no one balked; they knew they’d need one themselves soon or later  – and knew you’d let them have it.

In real life, though, do overs are few and far between. Yet I feel like this summer has been a do over for me. I’ve moved back to the area where I grew up, after a long time away. I focused a lot of energy on making up for lost time (and lost fun from my two summers in Virginia), and on reestablishing relationships…and making new ones.

It’s funny how you work so diligently to change and grow but yet find yourself falling right back into old patterns, fears and insecurities so easily. It’s a battle to relearn how to open the heart and trust; to remember that the outcomes of the past don’t have to dictate today’s.

It’s hard and beautiful, all at the same time…and I’m going to bet, like most things that are, it will be worth it in the end.